Nicolas Cage has a cat. Cage and this cat inspired an art exhibition. The internet has never had a better day.
The art will be on display at CatCon, a fair entirely dedicated to the very being Al Gore had in mind when he invented our beloved worldwide network of connected computers. This year’s event, which resembles a comic-con for cat people, will take place on October 1-2 in Pasadena, California.
“Nicolas Cage is an artist’s dream subject — he’s a cult, he’s a camp, and he’s DGAF,” said CatCon founder Susan Michals, who is also the founder and curator of the Cat Art Show, a biannual exhibition of cat-centric creations that sponsors the Cage exhibition. “Cats share many of the same qualities, so why not combine the two and celebrate on screen?”
Seven artists bring their brushstrokes and pixels to CatCon for Uncaged: The Unbearable Weight of Genius Cat Art.
In celebration of the versatile actor and his adopted black kitten, Merlin, comes Brian Hoffman’s Catstor Troy, an 11″ x 14″ print, hand decorated with diamond dust, embossed, signed, and framed in a decorative vintage frame. The piece – a homage to Cage’s evil villain in 1997’s Face/Off – features the actor’s head on the body of a retro cartoon girl, with a small blue bow in her hair. He is surrounded by three cartoon cats.
“It’s definitely weird and a little bit spooky, but heartwarming and fun if you love Cage and cats,” says the Boston-based designer, illustrator, and graphic artist. “Originally, Cage sat next to magic mushrooms in the play as a tribute to Alice in Wonderland and her cat Dinah, as well as the one time Nic Cage allegedly took mushrooms with his cat.”
Vanessa Stockard’s oil painting, titled Wild at Art, features the actor embraced by a life-size black cat with yellow eyes and a matching yellow wig. I asked Jet, my own yellow-eyed black cat, to critique the play.
“I find the cat-human disconnect in Stockard’s work both reductive and resonant,” Jet said. “Someone saw a bird I can kill?”
Cage’s lithe, expressive face makes him a natural star in both paintings and numerous memes.
You’ve probably seen GIFs of him from the 1997 action thriller Con Air, his long hair blowing in the wind, his eyes half-closed, a blissful smile on his sun-kissed face as he walks towards freedom after a long prison sentence. You may also have seen the meme of his face overlaid on countless images of cats. Appropriately, Cage is a lifelong cat lover who calls Merlin his best friend. “He loves contact,” Cage says in this interview. “Sometimes he jumps in bed and hugs me, you know? I actually think it’s my wife.”
The art in Uncaged will be available for sale both in person at Cat Con and online through the Cat Art Show. Ten percent of proceeds will benefit three cat-related charities, with hopefully benefitting all memes from this new cage cat genre.